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Badass Women at Any Age

Mar 7, 2023

Sexually abused by a family member at a young age, Gemma ran away from home and lived on the streets until a charity helped her.  Married  at 17 and a young mother,  Gemma faced the unthinkable; the brutal murder of her 16 year old sister Sasha.  That horrific tragedy,  the ongoing trial,l and her recognition and research on sexual objectification led Gemma to found Yes Matters, an organization which supports victims of abuse, challenges gender stereotypes, and delivers training to professionals.  She has made it her mission to change the world for the better by teaching society about the links between pornography, objectification, gender stereotypes, and male violence. Her unflappable and informed approach to delivering feminist messages have led her to become a valuable advisor to political movers and shakers. She's attended private meetings with politicians, including former Prime Minister David Cameron. Gemma was asked to present findings from her dissertation research on the impact of pornography on young people in Westminster. Her research on gender stereotypes and VAWG, Violence Against Women and Girls, has also been heard by the European Parliament. Gemma's achievements in VAWG space has been recognized by the WIN Award for the Protection of Women and Girls' Rights in 2016. The Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize in 2017 and the  Woman of the. Year Award in 2017. She's a go-to media commentator on issues related to violence against women appearing on BBC and GB News and featured in The Guardian, the Observer, Daily Mail among other UK outlets.


What You Will Hear in This Episode: 

2:43 Gemma’s personal story

8:45 Focusing on her autistic son

12:30 Sasha’s murder

19:40 Dealing with the aftermath, guilt and becoming an activist

22:43 Researching, learning and starting Yes Matters

27:35 Creating policy change and lessons learned

31:53 Gemma’s work changing the gender stereotype



“What I discovered was that young people, instead of getting a proper sex and relationship education, they were getting PornHub.”

“Legally, consent is defined as something that you want to participate in without coercion. So it's the yes that matters.”

“If men cared enough about women to stop violence against us, you know, they've had millennia to do something about that and they haven't.”

“I try to speak their language. What do they care about? Money seems to be what a lot of people in power care about.” 

“I have learned that I am fueled by rage……there's no shortage of things to get enraged about.“

“I've just been trying my best  to get things done and if not to make change, make the people who have the power to change things, make them look bad enough that they want to change them.” 

“We don't want our boys to have futures where if they need help, they would rather kill themselves than ask for it. “



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